Identity (Graded)
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  1. #1

    Default Identity (Graded)

    (Hi, so I'm clearing all of my stories out for personal reasons. I have copies on my hard drive if, for legal reasons, I'm not allowed to do this, but otherwise I'd prefer for this old shame to die old shame. ._.)
    Last edited by Lurking; 2nd August 2013 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Crediting Lord of the Rings, Henley, Toy Story, and a few other bits, just in case.

  2. #2
    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity (Claimed)

    I got the go ahead to take this one over, so consider it claimed. I swear I will not take a month. I hope.
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
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  3. #3
    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identity (Claimed)

    Sorry it took me so long after claiming ;-;

    ---

    Intro: I consider your first two lines of text part of the intro to the story, and they are pretty effective. They're solid lines, and it makes someone wonder how the fic is going to relate to them.

    Next we're shown one of the characters, but unsure if the boy is a protagonist or antagonist. You reveal a little about him that makes him seem a little testy, from his scowling and his comments about the Magikarp, which leads reading into thinking maybe he's not such a nice guy. A Staryu section comes up next, so we can figure, because of the story content, that these are probably are our two sides.

    All in all, it worked well because it didn't give too much away regarding what the story was about, but it also wasn't boring. Since fishing for a Pokémon could lead down many different paths, it wasn't obvious where the story was going. It worked. It wasn't too boring and it piqued interest.

    Plot: I really liked the plot of your story. It gave readers a theoretical point of view from creatures in the game, and it was really interesting. I've never really thought about the whole cloning ordeal myself, so it was nice to see an original idea expanding on that.

    You based the fic around some good themes. The story itself was kind of 1984, Anthem-esque, which was also pretty neat. The idea of everyone conforming, in your case accepting what was coming to them, is a little scary. The clones acted like the unwilling-to-resist, mindless people, while Lucas served as the ruling power. It was pretty cool that the Staryu was determined to create his own identity to separate him from the others.

    I like that the fic was also about not just accepting fate. In reality, choices we make and actions we take affect where we end up, and it might not just be a certain destiny. At least if you have a hand in it, it doesn't feel so predestined. It's a little inspiring when thinking that you don't know what you can do until you try. Staryu displayed this in trying to motivate the group to do something in his speech. It doesn't always work out the way you want it to, as he found out, but at least he didn't lay down and die. Things changed because he took action, and he showed that sometimes you shouldn't just accept things the way they are if you can do something about it. Very nice there.

    Characters: Your characters were very interesting, and I think that it helped that you included the nature bits. Bronzor seemed very fitting as the secondary, side-kick type character, and his sarcasm added some humor to the oppressive-style story.

    One thing I found odd about Staryu though was that he was supposed to be timid nature, yet right away in the story, even before he was seeking his own identity, he was agitated at the Staryu voices and irritated at Bronzor. It seemed a little odd. I theorize that you either didn't think much of it and I'm reading too much into it, or you did that on purpose. It makes sense really, as people are not restricted to act only how their main temperament is. It also further enforces that clones are not merely copies of the original; they all have their own quirks. If you did this on purpose, kudos, it was well done. If you didn't, be careful about characterization.

    Grammar: Your grammar is excellent, which always makes me breathe a sigh of relief. There were just a couple of small minor housekeeping things that I'll point out just because, something another look over (or perhaps by someone else) may have caught. Again, nothing major, but things my eye picked out.

    “It’s a shiny Staryu,”
    In general, bold is not really a good way to emphasize something in text because it's a little jarring. Italics are a better option, though this is sort of one of those personal opinion things. This goes especially for dialogue, since what kind of voice inflection is a bold anyway? Italics at least imply something is being stressed.

    Another thing was your use of barrette, something that happened twice. I'm pretty sure you meant barret, as in a hat, over barrette, which is a girl's hair piece. Though I must say, imagining a boy with a stylish flowery hair ornament made me laugh a bit. There was also a place where you had 'can not' instead of cannot, as well as a place where quotation marks were missing and just one unneeded comma after “change of location”. It doesn't matter that much, but if you're like me, little things like that sort of get to me if I find out I missed them.

    I also want to comment on your use of 'inconceivable'. I know it was a reference, which is neat, but I thought that it was a little bit of an odd word choice for Lucas, the snotty kid. It worked fine for just text, but in the dialogue it was a little weird since it seemed too large/obscure a word for him. I would imagine him saying something along the lines of “No way!” instead.

    One thing that sort of threw me for a loop at first was the transition from all in third person perspective to first person. At first I wondered why, but then I saw that since Staryu is a clone (as revealed by his lack of memories of the outside world), it serves as a differentiation. After thinking about it, I decided this works, since it lets readers know this is a different character. Just something to think about if you do this in any other stories. If it didn't have a purpose I would maybe advise against it, but it worked well here.

    Another thing that I tripped over a little was this:
    I hated myself. I hated myself for failing Bronzor. I hated myself for failing myself as well, for allowing myself to be taken down this easily.
    I think that there are too many 'myself' in these combination of lines. I know it was probably written like this for a reason, as the hated part is a trend in the surrounding sentences, but I think it could be reworded a little so you don't repeat the same word too much. Like maybe something like this:
    I hated myself for failing as well, for being taken down this easily.
    I'm sure you can too better, but it's a little cleaner, and it cuts out some unnecessary words that made me stumble a little. I had a teacher that butchered an essay I wrote once, cutting out all necessary words, so this is kind of a habit. The less words you need to explain something, the smoother it reads though.

    Detail/Description: You detail is pretty solid in most areas. Most of the time it's the little details that are the best, like this:
    The moon shone brightly overhead, like a luminous orb.
    They set the tone without trying to drown the reader in multiple paragraphs that just try to describe anything. Personally, that annoys me, and I prefer the gradual more subtle details that still let the story flow. You're good at that.

    The only things that we're really described are Arceus and Lucas, which I found odd because you described everything else. While Arceus didn't play much of a role in the fic, the Trainer sort of did. You described him a little, like that he wore a hat, but there wasn't a lot of physical description. Since his name is Lucas and he was supposedly the Champion, it makes me think that he could maybe be the main protagonist from Diamond and Pearl? At least, that was the first explanation that came to mind. You did describe him through his actions and mannerisms though, which is very good. That tells us more about a character anyway, but it would still be nice to have just a smidgen more of physical description, or at least something to clarify that he is indeed the character from the game or not. Now I'm kinda set on thinking he's a jerk.

    Length: Bronzor and Staryu, a medium and hard mon, give you an estimated range of 30-50k. You hit 42,679 by my count and 43,221 by yours, so either way you're good to go here.

    Reality: Part of the fun of this fic was that it tried to break the fourth wall a bit. I liked the blend of real time and game aspects, like the battle in the beginning with the floating platforms and announcer voice. It made me think of what happens when I'm away from the game if such a thing were possible (and who knows, maybe it is and we just don't know it?). It gave the effect that ideas are sentient, which is very interesting to think about. How would people's actions be different if they knew that more than people had feelings?

    There was one part that seemed a little odd to me as far as realism goes. In the games, boxes are capable of holding thirty mons. When Staryu wakes up, he comments on seeing hundreds of other Staryu. I guess they could be different than in-game ones, but since you stuck with similarities consistently throughout the fic, it just seemed a little odd. This is also assuming that he can't see into the other boxes either. Just something I noticed.

    Result:
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
    I quickly slammed the palm of my hand onto a butt
    Ranger | Grader | Ref | Curator
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